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Report Series: Principal Pipeline Initiative
Part 1 of 9

Six Districts Begin the Principal Pipeline Initiative

Six school districts launch efforts to create a large corps of effective principals as Wallace's Principal Pipeline Initiative gets underway.
July 2013
  • Author(s)
  • Brenda J. Turnbull, Derek L. Riley, Erikson R. Arcaira, Leslie M Anderson, and Jaclyn R. MacFarlane
  • Publisher(s)
  • Policy Studies Associates, Inc.
Page Count 84 pages


Principals play a critical role in improving schools and shaping a high-quality education for all students. But little is known about how school districts can cultivate the principals their schools need.

This report takes a step in filling the gap, as the first in a series about The Wallace Foundation’s Principal Pipeline Initiative. It details early efforts by six urban school districts to develop large numbers of effective principals. The districts worked to develop four key components of principal pipelines:

  • Setting rigorous standards for principal performance
  • Training aspiring principals to meet these standards
  • Using care to hire principals and match them to the schools
  • Evaluating principals aptly and providing them the right on-the-job supports.

This report is a baseline for future reports. It describes why the districts decided to take part in the pipeline effort, their early plans, and the results they hoped to achieve. The six districts had made gains in improving school leadership before joining the initiative, the report says. They joined the effort because of a persistent decrease in the size and quality of their principal applicant pools.


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